Australia – Working time – 2011
Daily hours limit
The Fair Work Act 2009 does not impose a limit on daily working hours.
Weekly hours limit
The National Employment Standards prescribe the maximum weekly hours of work.
An employer must not request or require an employee to work more than the following number of hours in a week unless the additional hours are reasonable:
(a) for a full-time employee – 38 hours; or
(b) for an employee who is not a full-time employee – the lesser of 38 hours and the employee’s ordinary hours of work in a week.
Limits on overtime hours
The only limit on overtime hours prescribed by the Fair Work Act 2009 is that additional hours requested or required by an employer are to be reasonable. An employee may refuse a request to work unreasonable additional hours. Further limitations may be prescribed by the relevant award or enterprise agreement
Determining if Additional Hours are Reasonable
In determining whether additional hours are reasonable or
unreasonable, the following must be taken into account:
(a) any risk to employee health and safety from working the
(b) the employee’s personal circumstances, including family
(c) the needs of the workplace or enterprise in which the
employee is employed;
(d) whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime
payments, penalty rates or other compensation for, or a level
of remuneration that reflects an expectation of, working
(e) any notice given by the employer of any request or
requirement to work the additional hours;
(f) any notice given by the employee of his or her intention to
refuse to work the additional hours;
(g) the usual patterns of work in the industry, or the part of an
industry, in which the employee works;
(h) the nature of the employee’s role, and the employee’s level
(i) whether the additional hours are in accordance with
averaging terms included under section 63 in a modern award
or enterprise agreement that applies to the employee, or with
an averaging arrangement agreed to by the employer and
employee under section 64;
(j) any other relevant matter.
Vacation and Leave
4 weeks paid leave per year, plus an additional week for certain shift workers.
10 days paid personal/carer’s leave per year
2 days unpaid carer’s leave (when needed)
2 days paid compassionate leave (when needed)
12 months unpaid parental leave (plus extra entitlements for some employees).